I LOVE this linky!! Monday means I get to link up with Kindergarten Planet and The Kindergarten Connection for Must Read Monday!!
I know I've mentioned this before, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this link up!! I get to talk about one of my all time favorite topics, literature! Even more awesome, I get to learn all about some incredible books from other educators! I'm so excited for this link up each week!! Each week we are given a topic of books and asked to share our favorites! (At the bottom of this post I've included links to my other Must Read Mondays so you can add some awesome books to your Wish List!) This week's topic is an incredibly important one for everyone, especially for young children.
Such a simplified definition for such an incredibly important concept! Compassion is a very important social emotional skill that our kiddos need to develop, and many of them come to us with little to no social emotional skills. However, children are naturally kind and supportive of each other so compassion is definitely something we can teach them. Many of them exhibit signs of compassion without even realizing it, just asking someone if they're okay or helping someone up when they fall. Talking about how to be kind and compassionate to each other are some of my favorite classroom discussions, and there are so many wonderful books to help with this topic. I have chosen four of my favorites to share with you, and I hope I'm able to introduce you to a new book or two!!
First up is Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose. This book starts off with a young boy not being exactly nice to a colony of ants. Suddenly the boy decides he's going to squish one of the ants, and to his great surprise the ant begins to talk to him. The little ant asks the giant boy how he would feel to be so small that others tried to squish him. A conversation between the two ensues, and the reader is left with the unanswered question of 'to squish or not to squish'.
This is a GREAT book for student discussion, and since the book has quite the cliff-hanger ending it can also lead to some really great writing prompts. It is interesting to hear the students argue for both sides, the boy and the ant. If this book isn't part of your library, you should really think about adding it!
A Sick Day for Amos McGee b Phillip Stead is such a wonderful story!! Amos McGee is a HUGE fan of the zoo and the animals who live there. He visits them every single day, and interacts differently with each one. Running races, keeping them company, even reading them bedtime stories. Not a day goes by that Amos doesn't visit the zoo and do something kind for his animal friends. However, one day Amos becomes too sick to visit the zoo. When the worried animals find out why, they decide it is time to return the kindness Amos has shown them. The animals decide to take care of their sick friend, and the kiddos get quite a kick out of everything they do.
This is another great book for student discussions, including talking about how we can help other people when they're feeling down. Love this book!!!
Another classic favorite of mine is A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams. In this sweet story, a young girl lives with her mother and grandmother. The girl's mother is a waitress at the local diner, always on her feet and working late. Tragically, the family's home is destroyed in a fire. Luckily they are able to find an apartment to live in, and all of their friends and neighbors come together to give the family the furnishings they lost in the fire. The young girl wants to do something nice for her family, so they decide to save up all their coins in a large glass jar so that they can buy a big, comfy chair. A chair where her mother can put her feet up and relax after a long day, and a chair where they can cuddle and read a story or watch a movie. Everyone on the family finds a way to contribute coins to the jar, until they fill it to the brim.
This is such a great story about how a community comes together to help a family in need, and how the family works together to get something they can all enjoy together. Another wonderful book to start some really great discussions with your kiddos!!
One of my favorite books of all time, Smoky Night by Eve Bunting, is a great way to talk about how communities can come together after a tragedy. The illustrations by David Diaz are really incredible, made from so many different mediums like textured paper and corrugated cardboard. This story addresses the Los Angeles riots through the eyes of a child living in the barrio. The young boy and his family must flee their apartment in the middle of the night as the rioting gets closer and closer. Many of the neighbors in the apartment building had spent so much time avoiding each other, but now that fires and looting sweep through their neighborhood they must come together to help each other and find their missing pets. This story is remarkable as it shows how neighbors who are virtually strangers are able to work together towards a common goal when disaster strikes. It's a really incredible story with such a powerful message. Even though this story was written about the Los Angeles riots, I found it a useful story to discuss the rioting that happened in Baltimore, a city just an hour's drive away from my school. I really love this book, and would recommend it to every teacher!!
Well, those are my picks for this week's Must Read Monday. I hope I was able to do their descriptions justice! I can't wait to read all of the other posts that have linked up this week! Make sure to swing back over to Kindergarten Planet or The Kindergarten Connection to see who else linked up, and you can link up too! I'm always excited to read about new books!!
Here are my previous Must Read Monday posts, in case you wanted to learn about some other awesome books!!
Also, PLEASE come and link up for Spotlight Saturday! It's a weekly link up that is basically a Teacher Show and Tell, where educators from all over can showcase their favorite products, activities, resources, ideas, or anything else that happens in their classroom that they want to show off!! The link up is open all week, so make sure to come over and shine your Spotlight!